Significance Of Warfare And Diplomacy In World History
Diplomacy is way of resolving conflicts and it depends on reciprocity to a certain extent. However, the principle of reciprocity may contribute to the resolution or aggravation of a conflict. When diplomacy fails, warfare takes precedence. Some examples of diplomatic norms and notions are precedence, constructive ambiguity and diplomatic recognition.
Historically, the diplomatic notion of precedence has aggravated a conflict and in many cases led to violence. This means that warfare ended up being the result of this notion. However, we must not forget that diplomacy is about coexisting and having a reciprocal relationship wherein great importance is attached to precedence or order of importance, individual states and rulers.
If we see early European diplomacy, we will that there were many crises caused either by intended or unintended insults that occurred between ambassadors and their retinues. Many times the conflicts were caused with ambassadors trying to get higher status in their treatment by ruler in the country they were sent to. This is very evident between France and Spain where there were never-ending tussles involving violence and threats of war.
Many international conferences have borne the brunt of conflicts over precedence especially when diplomacy is being used for negotiations. The Thirty Years’ War was stretched as a result of quarrels over status and precedence. However, this led to the emergence of a new principle called the Alternat where each representative signs his own copy of the treaty first. This principle is still in use today when it comes to signing of treaties between different nations.
After World War I, the American President Woodrow Wilson stated in his Fourteen Points the formation of a new type of diplomacy based on moral and democratic principles. The old diplomacy was full of secrecy and encouraged conflicts and warfare. The new diplomacy of openness was about having international negotiations in public without private and secret understandings.
When all avenues of diplomacy fail to resolve conflicts, warfare is considered as the only option. There is no doubt that diplomacy is the first line of resolution and warfare the last. All efforts were and are made internationally to resolve conflicts using diplomacy. Warfare is something that no nation or leader wants to talk about until the very end.
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